OUr lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor

by Patrick Jessup

Tomorrow is the day we recognize as our Nation's birthday. 238 years. In the annals of human history, still young. Yet, in our modern age of world wars, irresolute governments, and vacillating nation-states, the United States of America stands as a weather-beaten beacon of hope, prosperity, and freedom. Even now our national news is deluged with stories of the world's "tired, . . . poor, . . . huddled masses yearning to breathe free" within our borders. May we not rest in complacency, in comfort, and thereby surrender the good gift of freedom that was so generously bestowed upon us. The day after the vote to declare independence, John Adams wrote to his wife, "I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States." And so it did.

I urge you to take time in the coming days to read the Declaration and contemplate this gift and its cost.

July 2, 1776, "the Thirteen Colonies voted to separate from Great Britain. A hush fell over the room. The late afternoon sun fired a brass candlestick on the green felt tablecloth, a pair of spectacles, the silver knob of a walking stick. Men gazed out the window, some with tears in their eyes. A few prayed. Their chairman, John Hancock, broke the silence: 'Gentlemen, the price on my head has just doubled!'" (Marshal & Manuel, TLGT, 309.)

Hancock's statement may elicit a chuckle, and certainly it was meant to do so, but it was equally a recognition of the reality those men boldly faced. The late Paul Harvey did most eloquently recount the truth. Please, take the time to listen.